So What if My Cat Kills a Couple Birds?

The Federal Government (specifically the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) cares very much!

And here's why...

It is against the law to harm or injure birds. Please read up on The Migratory Bird Treaty Act. According to this Act, it is unlawful to injure a migratory bird, its nest, or eggs. Any person caught in violation of this federal law can be fined or face a prison sentence. Yet millions of protected species are killed by non-native domestic cats as people look the other way or whine that they can't do anything.

Evans (1995) says of the domestic cat "...he is a skilled poacher, one that prefers small game like rabbits and California Quail. He even kills tiny songbirds. And of course, he never buys a hunting license. Worse yet, he hunts all year long, enjoying special success as young fledglings leave the nest. If you or I were ever caught poaching a quail or killing a migratory songbird, we could be fined or go to jail". We are all responsisble for our pets, and while few would argue that there can be serious legal repercussions in allowing farm animals or dogs to wander freely, millions of cat owners harbor animals known to kill and injure birds and other native wildlife. Cat predation of birds is a significant problem. Together we can change this. Be a responsible cat owner!

Evans, D. 1995. Feline Poachers. In: 1998. Wild Talk 9(1):2.

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